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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Cyclists should always know what to do and how to react to encounters with dogs

Cyclists should always know what to do and how to react to encounters with dogs
By:  Michael Lander


Many cyclists love dogs, but having dogs chase after you is often a
dangerous proposition for both.  Cyclists have a legal recourse for
irresponsible pet owners who do not maintain control of their
dog and who do not keep a leash on them when they are outside.

Dogs are often referred to as “man’s best friend,” but for cyclists, they can be one of their worst nightmares.

Whether you’re a dog-lover or not, and many of us are, having a dog chase you, run in front of you, or even try to bite or attack you, can be one of several potential hazards that cyclists would prefer to never have to face.

Should you ever have one of these encounters with one or more dogs, during a bike ride in the Memphis area, there are a few simple things that might help to keep you safe and may minimize some of the risks of getting seriously injured.

As difficult as it might be, when you have a dog that tears out after you, it is very important not to freak-out or to over-react to the situation.

Try, if you can, to remain calm, but to quickly get away from the threat that the dog poses to you.  Try to do this without swerving into traffic or running into other cyclists who may be riding along with you.

If you are with other cyclists, alert them to the presence of a dog and let them know what evasive actions, if any, that you are taking.

For the most part, dogs may be much more interested in just chasing you than actually getting a piece of you, but you never know what they will do if they ever catch up to you so you have to always assume the worst.  With that, you need to not only make every attempt to get away, but to try and keep the dog from running out in front of you where a collision might become unavoidable.

Sometimes, if you're lucky, you will be able to get a dog to stop in its tracks by just yelling at it and telling it, “no,” as you might do with your own dog.  If nothing else, by doing this, it might get the dog’s owner attention who may then be able to get their dog to come back to them. 


Not all cyclists have a problem with dogs while they're
out on a bike ride and some even find a way to bring
their dog with them whenever they ride.

Oftentimes, just bearing down and peddling as fast as you can will usually do the trick in helping you get away, but that may not always work if the dog or dogs are faster than you are.  In those cases, you may be forced to take one or more defensive actions to deter a more aggressive dog from going after you.

As a last resort, for dogs that are way too close for comfort, you may want to consider dousing them with a little pepper spray or, if nothing else, spraying them with some water from your water bottle.

If you are unable to outrun or get away from a dog, you will want to position your bike between you and the dog as a way to separate yourself from it.  If necessary, you may have to thrust your bike toward the dog and even possibly hit it with your bike in order to keep it away from you.

After you are safely away from a dog that has either charged at you or attacked you, you will want to report the incident to Memphis City Police.  Provide them with as much information as possible about the incident so that they can file a police report.  It is also important to contact the owner, if possible, to let them know exactly what happened. 

When talking with police, be sure to tell them when and where the incident with the dog occurred and the details surrounding it.  If you know, give them the dog owner’s name and address and their contact information.  You will also want to give them the names of any witnesses and cyclists who were with you when this took place.

It is absolutely important not to brush off any incident with a dog or to just let go like nothing happened.  A dog that does this will be a threat to others and you should always report it to the police.

If you suffered any injuries and/or any damage to your bike from an encounter with a dog, you will want to contact a personal injury lawyer since you may be entitled to some amount of compensation from it.  


For many of us, we love our pets and they are often a big part
of our lives.  Trey and Cary Tucker like to bring their dog,
Emory, with them on their shorter bike rides so that they
can all enjoy the outdoors together.

 
If you talk with a lawyer, they will want to know what injuries you sustained and what damage that you specifically had to your bicycle.  They will also want to know about your insurance policy, whether or not you had previous run-ins with the dog, what defensive actions that you took, and whether or not you have a video of it.  Having a video can be especially helpful if your case ever has to go to court.

When looking for a lawyer, be sure that you find one who has experience in working cases that have involved cycling-related injuries or death and, for those, Amy Benner Johnson may be one of the best attorneys in the State of Tennessee to contact.  She is located in Knoxville and is a cyclist herself who has worked many cases for cyclists and their families when a cyclist has either been injured or who has died as a result from incidents involving dogs, unsafe road conditions, or negligent and hostile drivers.

As a cyclist, you should also protect yourself by knowing as much as you can about Tennessee State law, at least as it applies to cycling.  Tennessee is a strict liability state for dog bites that occur when a dog is not under reasonable control and is running around at large. 

The state also has a leash law that requires that dogs must be on a leash at all times and are under reasonable control.

Cyclists should also contact Memphis Animal Services/Control when owners fail to keep their pets under control.  A pet owner is almost always liable for anything that their dog does, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that a cyclist, under some circumstances, may be completely exonerated from some degree of liability if they swerve into traffic and cause an accident or if they intentionally retaliate and unnecessarily maim or kill a dog. 

By just taking a common-sense approach to the situation, and reacting to it appropriately, every cyclist should be able to reduce their chances of being hurt or having their bike tore up from an encounter with a dog.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bicycling is good for business, for Memphis, and for a whole lot more

Bicycling is good for business, for Memphis, and for a whole lot more
By:  Michael Lander

Cycling is a big business in the U.S. and around the world and is more
popular than several other outdoor activities combined.

Bicycling is big and it’s a much bigger revenue-generating industry in the U.S. than what most people might realize.  It has a much greater, and a more far-reaching impact, even on those who do not actually ride a bike themselves.

From a business standpoint, cycling is huge.  The bicycle industry, according to the
Outdoor Industry Foundation, is estimated to support 1.1 million jobs, and it generates nearly $18 billion in federal, state and local taxes.  It also contributes an astounding $133 billion annually to the U.S. economy.

In 2010, the
National Bicycle Dealers Association said that the bicycle industry was a $5.6 billion industry and, from 2003 to 2013, 178.6 million new bicycles were sold in the U.S. alone. 

Beyond the financial side of bicycling, the
National Sporting Goods Association, found that the number of Americans who rode bicycles is much greater than all those who ski, golf, and play tennis combined.

American television journalist,
Tom Brokaw, once said that it is easy to make a buck, but that it is a lot tougher to make a difference.  When it comes to cycling, it is something that truly makes a difference for both the individual who rides a bike and for the entire community that they live in.

Unlike so many other things that we might do in our lives, cycling brings people together.  It does this even though people who are involved in it come from different walks of life, are men or women, are from across the entire socioeconomic spectrum, and are young and old and everything in between.

Through the combined efforts of various organizations and the local, state,
and federal government, Memphians have seen an ever-increasing
number of places to ride and another way to connect with others in
different neighborhoods.

Cycling can even bring business, government, and non-profit organizations together for a common cause.  When they do this, they can make an enormous difference in shaping how and where cyclists can ride and it can unify a community together by connecting neighborhoods with bike lanes and trails with one another.

Unlike almost anything else, cycling unifies a community in a more intimate way than a car could ever do.  It can also offer alternative ways of getting around, it is good for the environment, it can be good for business, and it is especially good for health.  So why, you might ask, wouldn’t everybody support it?  This is a question, of course, that every citizen should ask those in political positions who represent them.

Outside of local, state and federal governments, who collaborate with one another to fund most cycling-related amenities, and a cycling infrastructure, there are organizations like
PeopleForBikes and the League of American Bicyclists who tirelessly work on behalf of cyclists.

PeopleForBikes does this by working with individual cyclists, businesses, community leaders, and their elected officials to, as they say, “create a powerful, united voice for bicycling and its benefits.”

The League of American Bicyclists has a similar mission and goal as PeopleFor Bikes in that they seek to represent and promote what is in the best interests of cyclists while striving to make roads safer, communities stronger, and to preserve the freedom that cycling brings to the cyclists everywhere.

Cyclists are becoming a more common sight around the University of
Memphis, which the university is encouraging with its bike share
program.

These organizations are crucial to giving cyclists a voice that can be heard at all levels of government.  Fortunately, for cyclists in
Memphis, our voices have not only been heard, but have been responded to a way that it has never been before.  Under the leadership of Mayor A.C. Wharton, the city has helped to develop and implement a cycling infrastructure that is set to become a role model for other cities across the U.S. to emulate.

An extensive cycling infrastructure, as cyclists hope to one day have in Memphis, will pay big dividends, not only for cyclists, but also for many of the areas businesses.  As the League of America Bicyclists showed in their
Bicycling Means Business:  The Economic Benefits of Bicycling Infrastructure,
cycling can be an extremely profitable endeavor to those areas who have invested in it.

Since government is not always fully capable of funding all cycling projects that a community might want, other funding is sometimes needed to make up the difference.  Of course, you might expect to see some businesses that have a vested interest in cycling to contribute, but you would also hope to see other businesses in your community also step up and give to cycling projects purely for the greater good of the community.

Businesses are as much of a part of a community as the people who work for them are and they should be seen as something more than just profit-driven entities.

As the cycling infrastructure grows and develops in Memphis, more people are
expected to begin taking advantage of it, with more people riding and
commuting by bicycle and more traveling to the city to experience it for
themselves.  This should provide greater revenue for the city and its
businesses, which will profit from all of it.

They are part of our lives and they prosper from the labor of their people and often thrive on the support of the local community.  By investing in cycling projects, businesses are able to not only tie their name to a project, but they can make an indelible impression on cyclists and those who might be attracted to coming to a city and working for a business that is willing to invest in the health and welfare of those within the community.

Today, the League of American Bicyclists considers 15 communities in
Tennessee as being bicycle-friendly.  Memphis, it says, is one of these communities and, as of this date, it has the city, Shelby Farms Conservancy, and the Revolutions Bicycle Cooperative listed as bicycle-friendly businesses. 

Those who live in Memphis know that there are many businesses that would qualify as bicycle-friendly and that this is just a matter of them being identified as such.  The
University of Memphis, for example, is not listed as a university that is bicycle-friendly, but it has a bike sharing program for students and employees and it has made considerable efforts to support and encourage cycling on its campus, which should entitle it to a cyclist-friendly status.

Recognizing businesses, organizations, and others who are cyclist-friendly with a
community impact award may be one way that the cycling community and the City of Memphis can show their appreciation to them for their efforts.  This could also serve as an incentive for other businesses to strive for.

Traveling by bicycle is an inexpensive and healthier alternative for
getting around town and all Memphians and local area businesses
stand the chance to benefit from all of it.

Of all the businesses in Memphis, there are few, if any, that have more of an impact than
FedEx.  Even though they have not yet had a direct impact on cycling in our city, for more than a decade, they have been a company that has promoted cycling, through its FedEx Rock-n-Roll MS-150 bike ride. 

This event has drawn in many cyclists from the Memphis area and beyond and it has gotten many people interested and involved in cycling while supporting a cause that has greatly benefitted the
National Multiple Sclerosis Society. 

Businesses who host events like FedEx does with its MS-150 do a commendable job of helping raise money for great causes and they are better positioned than some to help fund some of the cycling-related projects and to take cycling in our city to the next level.

In the most ideal situation, having businesses who would find a way to support cycling would be mutually beneficial for them, our cyclists, and for our entire community as a whole.  It can be a symbiotic relationship and one in which everyone comes away with something.

As with any relationship, though, it should be give-and-take, and while data has consistently shown what cycling can do for business, we might want to begin looking at this from another perspective and see what business can do for cycling. 

Bicycling is good for people, for business, the economy, and for the country as a whole.  This is why everyone should support cycling because even non-cyclists can find a way to benefit from it and even more so if they start cycling themselves.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Battle may be looming over future of bike lanes on Riverside Drive

Battle may be looming over future of bike lanes on Riverside Drive
By:  Michael Lander



Memphis City Engineer John Cameron conducted the third public meeting and
presented the two final alternative plans for Riverside Drive.  Even though he
received support from the cyclists who attended the meeting, he also received
some negative feedback from many who felt that they had been left out of
the selection process.

The last big battle to be fought near the bluffs of downtown Memphis occurred during the American Civil War on June 6, 1862.

Today, a new battle may soon be waged, but this one may be over the fate of bicycle lanes on Riverside Drive.

On Thursday, March 26, the Memphis City engineers, led by City Engineer John Cameron, held what was supposed to be a third and final public meeting on the long-term configuration of Riverside Drive. 

After city engineers looked at the responses that they had gotten from surveys, (showing 46-48 percent favoring bike lanes), and they looked at the feedback that they had received from two earlier public meetings, they came up with two alternative plans, both of which included bike and pedestrian lanes that also put vehicles on both sides of the median on Riverside Drive.

The first design, Alternative A, has two bike lanes together on the western edge (near the sidewalk), with a turn lane for vehicles.  The second, Alternative B, has bike lanes on the outer edges of the street with one bike lane going north and is separated from another going south.

Even though the reason for the meeting was to have the public help to decide between which of the two plans that they preferred, there was a significant amount of opposition to either one of them by many of those who were at the meeting.

Many of those who spoke against these plans were either business owners or residents of the downtown area.  The general consensus for many of them was that they felt that they had been left out of the decision-making process, that their voices were not being heard, and that their preferred option of returning Riverside Drive to a thoroughfare was not even being considered as an option. 


There were approximately 60 people who attended the third meeting on
the possible redesign, or reconfiguration, of Riverside Drive.  Over half
of those at this meeting, like Pat Kerr Tigrett, (pictured in the back and
center of this photo), were opposed to the city making any changes at
all to Riverside Drive.

Memphis City Council Chairmen, Myron Lowery, and District 7 Councilman, Berlin Boyd, who attended this meeting, planned to bring this matter up with the mayor and to place it on the council’s agenda.

In June 2014, Riverside Drive had been temporarily reconfigured, with the west bound lane made into a dedicated bike and pedestrian lane, as a pilot project to see the impact that this would have on traffic. The reason for doing this was based on a recommendation by renowned urban planner Jeff Speck who suggested a more accessible and more aesthetic riverfront for our city.
 
The city had planned to proceed with implementing one of the two alternative plans for Riverside Drive after this year’s Memphis In May festival.

While many of those at this latest public meeting expressed a common refrain of not having anything against cyclists, or insisting that this isn’t an "us" (motorists, businesses, and residents) "against the cyclists" issue, instead, they see this as being more of a problem of traffic congestion and a concern for the safety of motorists.

Cameron said that he thought that the installation of turn lanes (in Alternative A), and separating the vehicles with a median, would likely help to reduce accidents and would alleviate congestion.

One of the other big concerns for many of those at the meeting was whether or not other roads would be able to handle the sheer volume of heavy traffic if Riverside Drive is not returned to its original configuration. 

With Bass Pro opening soon and several residential buildings being built, (like the one in the former Chisca Hotel), many at the meeting believed that traffic congestion in downtown Memphis will only get worse than it is now.

Opponents to the two alternative reconfiguration plans of Riverside Drive also point to the city’s data, which show that only about 18 cyclists ride on the current dedicated bike lane each day as opposed to about 13,000 to 14,000 motorists who drive on it every day.


City Councilman Berlin Boyd attended this public meeting
on Riverside Drive and he expressed his concern that there
were so many there who felt as though they had not
been given any say-so on what is done on this iconic
roadway.

The solution for some people would be to have the cyclists and pedestrians ride on the sidewalks along the river, but this really would not be a viable option for runners, walkers or cyclists since they travel at different speeds and by doing this, it would greatly increase the risk of them running into one another.

Aside from that, after the Harahan Bike and Pedestrian project is complete, Riverside Drive is expected to be the main connector for cyclists to transit from other areas and to get and back and forth from the Harahan Bridge.

Once this occurs, Memphis should see a significant increase of cyclists and pedestrians, (many of whom may be coming from across the country and from around the world), but this will never happen if accommodations are not made for them now alongside Riverside Drive. 

This, of course, is not just about cyclists and pedestrians, but it is also about a vision to make Riverside Drive something more than just a thoroughfare.  The area around the river can be so much more than just a place where cars speed by, but it can be made into a park that can be enjoyed and appreciated by those who come to marvel at the beauty that we have along the Mississippi River

The only way that this can happen, though, is for other roads to be able to better accommodate a greater volume of traffic, especially if Riverside Drive is no longer able to do so.

Memphis has made great strides and considerable progress in making the city more cyclist-friendly.  Now is not the time for us to start going backward or to reduce the chances to have a space along the river that can be easily accessed and shared by everyone.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tunica hosts its Rivergate Festival and second annual bike ride in April 2015

Tunica hosts its Rivergate Festival and second annual bike ride in April 2015
By:  Michael Lander


As of March 2013, Tunica has established 35 miles of bike trails, which
cyclists participating in the 2015 Rivergate Ride will get to see and
experience for themselves.

Located just south of Memphis, situated in the Mississippi Delta, and surrounded by cotton fields and farmland, is the small, charming and picturesque town of
Tunica, Mississippi.

Even though the town is often only associated with its nearby casinos, those who live there, or who have been there, know that it really has a lot more to offer visitors, especially those who love to ride a bike.

Once a year, cyclists have an opportunity to ride one of the area's bike trails when the town hosts its annual
Tunica Rivergate Festival.  This year’s festival will take place on April 17 - 18, 2015.

“The Tunica Rivergate Festival is an annual event held in downtown Tunica each year since 1993,”  the president and CEO of the
Tunica Convention & Visitors Bureau, Webster Franklin said.

The idea to include a 13 or a 42 mile bike ride as part of the festival is something that is relatively new and it will take place on the second day, Saturday, April 18. 

“Last April’s ride was the inaugural Rivergate Ride…. And this will be the second year for it,” Franklin said.

The
Tunica Main Street organization and the Tunica Bike & Fitness Club are co-sponsors of this year’s Rivergate Ride.

Click on this link for a brochure with a map of the bike trails for the
Rivergate Ride.

Of the two routes that cyclists can chose, the shorter 13 mile “Tour de  River” is ideal for all ages and skill levels.  This route loops around from the historic downtown area to a place known as
Mhoon Landing on the Mississippi River and back.  Those who do this ride will find their SAG stop at the landing.

The longer, 42 mile “Tour de Blues” route is a little more challenging ride that travels along Mississippi Delta roads and part of what is known as the Great River Road Scenic Byway.  Throughout the ride you will cycle past some of the area’s cultural landmarks that gave this trail its nickname of Blues Alley.  

Last year, the “Tour de Blues” ride also included what has become known among Mississippi Delta cyclists and others as “Heartbreak Hill.” 

“We are currently evaluating the route, that’ll include “Heartbreak Hill,” and hope to have it included on this year’s ride,” Franklin said.

The main goal for ride organizers is to look at all of the factors, like the wind, in the Mississippi Delta that might impact the overall riding experience.

“We are trying to develop a route that will be enjoyable for all skill levels,” Franklin said.

Registration for this year’s ride begins at 7:00 a.m. at the Town Hall and the ride begins at 8:00 a.m.  Registration is $20 and can be paid on the day of the ride or online at www.racesonline.com/events/tunica-main-street-bike-ride

Tunica is known for its casinos and for its miles of cotton fields and
farmland, but in the years ahead, it hopes to be known for several
other things like its bike trails.


Law enforcement will be stationed at all of the major intersections along the way.

After the ride, cyclists will have the chance to have some food, fun, and beverages
at the Rivergate Festival in Downtown Tunica.  For Franklin, one of the best parts of the ride is that it is a part of the overall Rivergate Festival experience.

The festival offers the chance to enjoy live entertainment all day, family and children’s activities, and all the beer and crawfish you want.

Last year’s ride had approximately 50 cyclists, but Franklin hopes to double that number this April.

“We hope to expose the ride to more people and increase participation to over 100 riders this year,” Franklin said.  “The success of the inaugural ride for the opening of the Tunica County Bike Trail caused Main Street to a
dd a ride to the number of activities held each year during the festival,” he said.
 
Franklin credits Lynn Ryals, who is the Executive Director of Tunica Main Street, for organizing the ride. 

“Under her leadership, Tunica Main Street developed the Tunica County Bike trail that links DeSoto County to Tunica County.  The trail is marked with road signs and a brochure has been developed by Main Street in an effort to promote the trail,” Franklin said. 

The official opening of the bike trail took place in March 2013.  This was a 13 mile ride from downtown Tunica to the Mississippi River at Mhoon Landing and back, and this will be this year’s “Tour de River” ride.

“Cycling in Tunica is relatively new,” Franklin said.  “We have grown from just a few true road cyclists to the formation of the Tunica Bike Club which now has 10 active road riders,” he said.

Ryals sees the trails for these and other cyclists as a way to bring even more people and tourists to the Tunica area.  In a press release in 2014, she indicated that it was one of the reasons why the trails start and end in downtown Tunica.

Beyond that, however, Ryals said that she hopes that riders will take advantage of the trails because they will learn more about Tunica and what all that the town has to offer.

"It's amazing, as we were planning this, the things we heard in terms of people not knowing what was here," Ryals said.

This ride, and the Tunica Rivergate Festival, should be a great way to change all that and it should help to further introduce what Tunica is and what it has to offer to both visitors and cyclists alike.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Cyclists visiting Memphis should find plenty of options and reasons to ride with few, if any, worries

Cyclists visiting Memphis should find plenty of options and reasons to ride with few, if any, worries
By:  Michael Lander

Cyclists are able to navigate on many of the streets throughout
Memphis, but with the exception of Memphis City Police and security
guards, they are not permitted to ride at a few locations like on parts
of Beale Street that is limited to pedestrian traffic.

It can be really hard to keep anything that is great a secret and the same could be said of
Memphis. 

The city is an extremely popular destination stop and finding reasons to come here is actually pretty easy. 

There are plenty of things to see and do throughout the year and, if you’re a cyclist, it is definitely a place that is well worth the visit.

The biggest challenge for cyclists really isn’t deciding whether or not to come to our city, but it should be deciding between which places that you’ll have time to ride to while you are here.

Once here, cyclists will find no shortage of places to ride with lots of bike lanes and trails and more being added all the time. 

Here are a couple of websites that will help you get your start in searching the best bicycle routes in and around the city: 
http://memphiscyclist.com/html/placestoride.html and http://labs.strava.com/heatmap/#11/-89.97079/35.12930/blue/bike.

For those wanting to know the best and most popular destination locations in Memphis, here is a link that might be especially helpful in planning your visit: 
http://mymemphismatters.blogspot.com/2013/03/normal-0-false-false-false-en-us-x-none.html.  Many of these places may already be along some of the existing bike routes throughout the city or they could be modified with a slight deviation to include them.

Another thing that visiting cyclists might want to know about is how safe it is to ride in and around Memphis.  Those who do come should, for the most part, find it to be as safe as any city its size.

Safety, understandably, is, and should be, a concern for all cyclists and despite Memphis having a reputation for having bad drivers, in reality, they are probably no worse here than anywhere else.

Yes, there are bad and distracted drivers in our city, but this isn’t something that is necessarily unique to us.

And, while it may have taken a little time, Memphis has slowly been able to make its way to becoming a much more cyclist-friendly city. 

Memphis City Police Officers frequently patrol the downtown area
around Main Street.  Many cyclists have found this and other streets
to be a quick and easy way to get around town.

Initially, we may have had drivers who were not accustomed to having cyclists on the roads, and some who may not have cared for having to share the roads with them, but we have not seemed to have had any problems or experienced any growing pains as we have made the transition over to a city that is becoming known more for its cycling. 

To further that point, to date, there have not been any reported incidents of aggressive behavior by drivers or any acts of road rage directed against any cyclists.

Aside from safety concerns for cyclists on the roadways, crime may be another big concern for them as it is for many who live in most large metropolitan areas.  This is something that very few, if any, large communities are immune from and Memphis is no exception.

With that being said, this is not something that anyone living anywhere should ignore or try to minimize. 

Crime, like in any big city, is a reality of life for us in Memphis, but as real as any threat might appear, it can sometimes also be over-exaggerated and can seem to be much greater than what the statistics actually show.

To properly put this into perspective, there may be several hundred cyclists riding in and around Memphis on any given day and yet crimes against them are virtually, if not completely, non-existent.  

Like in other big cities around the country, crimes are often clustered in certain areas and neighborhoods where there is poverty and blight.  Here is a link that will show you where some of the crimes that have recently happened in Memphis: 
http://spotcrime.com/tn/memphis and http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/tn/memphis/crime/.

Crimes can happen anywhere, but if it is possible, it is usually best to avoid those areas that show a higher potential and risk for crime.

Statistically, Memphis has a comparable crime rate as other cities its size and population.  Here is a link for those who are interested in viewing a breakdown of the various types of crime in Memphis: 
http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-Memphis-Tennessee.html and  http://city-crime-statistics.findthedata.com/.


With bike lanes on parts of several roads, like Southern Ave., cyclists are increasingly
hitting the streets and becoming a more familiar sight to motorists in and around
Memphis.

To help minimize the risks of becoming a victim yourself, here are some simple tips:
-         Be aware of your surroundings and those around you.
-         Travel with others whenever you can.
-         Try to ride during the day when more people are out.
Take precautions.  Theft is a problem almost anywhere you go and Memphis is no exception.  Lock up your bike frame and wheels.
-         Also, have a cell phone with you and bring anything else that you might ordinarily carry with you for your personal protection.

Should you want to know more on this topic, here are some links where you can read about how to avoid becoming a victim and protecting yourself: “How to Prevent Becoming a Victim of Crime” on WikiHow, “How to Protect Yourself Against Crime,” at WebMD, and “Protect Yourself from Violent Crime,” by the National Crime Prevention Council.

As much as it makes sense to have some legitimate concerns about riding in a place that you might be unfamiliar with, those who come to Memphis are much more likely to find a place that is very accommodating and receptive to cyclists and its only getting better by the day.

For anyone who wants to see more about cycling in Memphis, here are a couple of additional links worth checking out:  http://memphiscyclist.com/ and http://memphiscyclist.blogspot.com/.

With an ever-increasing and ever-expanding network of bike lanes and trails, and plenty of places to see and visit along the way, there is no better time for cyclists to come and visit Memphis and to experience what local area cyclists get the chance to enjoy every day.